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A Woman of Intelligence    by Karin Tanabe order for
Woman of Intelligence
by Karin Tanabe
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Karin Tanabe, author of The Gilded Years, now brings historical fiction fans A Woman of Intelligence, set in 1954 New York City. The novel opens on Rina and her neighbor Carrie in the park with their small children, a scene that portrays some of the challenges and frustrations of motherhood - what led to this?

A daughter of immigrants, well educated and speaking four languages, Katharina worked as a translator at the United Nations and enjoyed her work, freedom, and social life. That life changed drastically after her marriage to Tom Edgeworth, Chief of pediatric surgery, who consistently prioritizes his hospital work over his wife and family. Their social life focuses on events with potential donors. Rina feels trapped.

Then she's contacted by FBI agent Lee Coldwell, who tells her that a man she'd been intimate at university, Jacob Gornev, works for the KGB. Coldwell wants her to make contact with Gornev and insinuate herself into his circle. She does so. One thing leads to another and she acts as a courier of stolen government documents, between D.C. and Manhattan.

Katharina falls hard for a fellow undercover agent, black Turner Wells, who advises 'don't let your circumstances extinguish you.' So, when Coldwell contacts her for another assignment, she jumps at the chance. After all, she's a woman of intelligence.

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